Saturday, October 4, 2008

One Survivor

Unfortunately, we all remember the Columbia space shuttle disaster that happened on February 1, 2003. All seven crew members died when the space shuttle exploded while re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The tragedy occurred because during the pre-launch inspection process, inspectors did not notice imperfections in the shuttles foam insulation. During launch, a piece of the foam broke off and chipped off the shuttle's left leading wing. This lead to the damage of the system's Thermal Protection System. As the shuttle was finally about to finish its 28th journey into space, damaging, heat gases destroyed the wing. The broken wing eventually lead to the demise of the whole shuttle.
I recently read in an article that from this disaster, somethings did survive. 37 pages of a diary written by Ilan Ramon, one of the astronauts on the mission, were found in a field just outside of Palestine, Texas. I find it so unbelievable that these pages survived that whole crash. The diary endured the intense heat of the explosion its self, and also the coldness from the atmosphere. They were also just sitting in a field for two months before they were found. They gave the diary pages to Ramon's wife, who brought it to Israeli forensics to decipher. About 80 percent of the diary could be restored. The diary will be on display in Jerusalem, along with other important documents at the country's 60th anniversary celebration. The diary being the one survivor of this tragedy shows that words really do last forever.


Cheesehead said...

That's amazing how the diary survived that kind of destruction, let alone that it was even found! If I had found it, I don't even know what I would think or do!

J. Gallagher said...

That is fantastic! I did not know that an astronaut's diary had been found. You're right; words do survive, and can leave a lasting, potent impression on those who are privileged to read them! Very interesting.

Kim said...

It's remarkable how that diary was found! The diary survived through the entire explosion, words really do leave a lasting impact as you said. This find is a great way to honor Ilan Ramon, and hopefully I'll see the diary some day myself.